Class Officer Collective (COC) Class of 2019 President Ann Jung was impeached at the end of last semester, marking the first time this has occurred in the history of COC. This leadership change is reflected in an email sent by the class officers on Jan. 18 in which Jung’s name does not appear.
The impeachment process was initiated by the Class of 2019 cohort months prior to the end of the fall 2016 semester. According to Radhika Patel, the executive president of COC, the Class of 2019 cohort had been working with the COC faculty advisor and Patel to address their concerns regarding Jung’s lack of commitment to the organization.
“The Class of 2019 cohort unanimously decided to initiate the impeachment process, as they did not feel that Ann was adequately able to fulfill her duties as president,” wrote Patel in an email. “As the executive president of the collective, it is my responsibility to counsel all cohorts through their challenges.”
According to Patel, the Class of 2019 officers felt specifically that Jung had exhibited “consistent failure to follow through with commitments made, lack of proper communication throughout the semester and inability to make it to the weekly all-officer meetings.”
The cohort therefore moved forward with the impeachment and, per the COC bylaws, presented the impeachment proposal at the last all-officer meeting of fall 2016 for a vote. Three-quarters of all officers would have to vote in favor of impeachment for the process to continue. After this supermajority was achieved, a final decision to remove Jung from the leadership team of the COC Class of 2019 was eventually made by the four other officers in the Class of 2019 cohort.
“The question of impeachment was not brought forth lightly or out of the blue by the members of [Jung’s] cohort,” Patel wrote. “It was as a result of the building tensions throughout the semester.”
Patel said that Jung asked for a written statement detailing the reasons of her impeachment at the beginning of her trial. COC chose to not provide such a document as it is not required in its bylaws to accommodate such a request. Instead, they chose to take minutes at the meeting for Jung’s reference, according to Patel. She also said that the reasons for Jung’s impeachment had been verbally explained several times before and during the trial of Jung. Patel said she believes that Ann’s contribution to the organization and her leadership ability have undergone justifiable evaluations as “there are many recorded and anecdotal instances that can be provided by any class officer on her shortcomings.”
The COC bylaws do not specify whether notification of the possibility of impeachment should be delivered to the person before their trial. However, they do state that the officer in question is able to resign at any time. According to Patel, Jung indeed was given opportunity to step down during the trial.
“Given that there was no precedence for impeachment in the organization, we adhered to all the rules that our bylaws provided and the trial was conducted in a fair manner,” said Patel. “Preceding the trial, there were many conversations about the discontent the rest of the officers felt.”
The COC Class of 2019 leadership team will move forward this semester with its four remaining members and the Vice President of the cohort will step up to fill the gap when needed.
Jung did not respond to requests for comment.